The International VELUX Award (IVA) is a biennial ideas competition for students of architecture. It invites students from all over the world to create projects investigating the role of daylight in our everyday lives. Endorsed by the UIA since 2004, the theme of each edition is “Light of Tomorrow”. The competition encourages students to approach the subject of daylight in architecture experimentally, and to explore questions of aesthetics, functionality, sustainability, and the interaction between buildings and environment.

The International VELUX Award has enjoyed increasing numbers of participants since its inception in 2004. Since its inception in 2004, more than 10,000 students from more than 800 schools from all regions of the world have participated in the competition.

The 2022 jury, which included Anupama Kundoo, John Ronan, Rainer Hofmann, Fuensanta Nieto, and Lotte Kragelund met in Copenhagen to examine 507 submitted projects submitted from 211 schools of architecture and to select 10 Regional Winners in two categories: Daylight in Buildings and Daylight Investigations.

The jury noted the “future-oriented nature of the projects … high in imagination and aspiration.”  Jury chair John Ronan explained that the jury selected projects which demonstrated not only a “vision, but also .. technical support of that vision and concise explanation of the idea.”

The regional winners were invited to the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon, Portugal at the end of November where they presented their projects to the jury, who then selected the two global winners of the International VELUX Award 2022.

See the brief for the 2022 edition

Keywords : Daylight, Education

Theme and objectives

“Light of Tomorrow” is the overall theme of the International VELUX Award. The award seeks to challenge the future of daylight in the built environment with an open-minded and experimental approach. Therefore, the award seeks to widen the boundaries of daylight in architecture, including aesthetics, functionality, sustainability, and the interaction between buildings and environment.

1. Daylight in buildings

Projects that demonstrate applicable principles for providing daylight and sunlight into buildings – including the effects of building construction and context of the site, shape and dimensions, window openings, screens, shadings, interior divisions, materials and external conditions.

Specific focus on architecture for health and well-being and projects that address challenges faced by cities, communities and modern societies, and where daylight and architecture can help create change through better and healthier living environments.

2. Daylight investigations

Projects that look at the physical properties of light, basics of optics and materials, as well as technological developments, new materials, storage or transportation of daylight.

The use of daylight in public space for functional, recreational, cultural or spiritual use and the effect of daylight on state of mind, health and well-being as well as the dynamics and temporal quality of daylight and its effects on behaviour and spaces over time and seasons.

Key criteria

The jury made their final evaluation of the projects in accordance with the following criteria from the award brief: 1) the work with daylight as a premise for architecture, 2) how the project is researched and documented, 3) how the project addresses contemporary and future challenges, 4) the level of experimentation and innovation, as well as the overall graphic presentation of the project or how the project presents itself.


The award was open to all registered student of architecture – individual or team – all over the world.  Multi-disciplinary teams including e.g. engineering, design and landscaping were encouraged. Every student or student team needed to be backed and granted submission by a teacher from a school of architecture.

The award welcomed projects from individuals or groups of students, who were students during the 2021/22 study year.

There was no limit to the number of entries from each school, but participating schools had to ensure the quality of submitted study projects, e.g. by making a prejudgment. VELUX employees weren’t allowed to participate.

Jury Members

Fuensanta Nieto, Spain (UIA Representative)

John Ronan, United States

Anupama Kundoo, India

Rainer Hofmann, Germany

Martin Løkke, Denmark




Eastern Europe & the Middle East: “TIP – Time Indicate Protection” by Zuzanna Sazonow and Aleksandra Pytka with Professor Patrycja Kamińska from Politechnika Poznańska (Poland)

Regional Finalists 

Africa: “Aqua Mart” by Elmarie van Staden with Professor Jean Wiid from Greenside Design Centre, College of Design (South Africa)

The Americas: “24-HOUR DAYLIGHT: A pavilion that reconnects the city with light,” by Adrian Paocarima Herrera, Melissa Anabelle Ulcuango Merino and Kevin Daniel Arroyo Males with Professor Paul Esteban Paredes Escobar from Universidad central del Ecuador (Ecuador)

Asia & Oceania: “Lighting up, Neighbourhood Hop” by Feng Meiyin, Feng Yijun and Zhang Jinru   with Professor Wang Xin from Beijing Jiaotong University (China)

Western Europe: “Spotlight Tree: Self-regulating System in Desert Environment” by Zhao Liuxin, Liu Wanchen, Xin Guanbai and Dong Zhenbin with Professor Bobby Nisha from The University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)



Eastern Europe & the Middle East: “Flight” by Sajjad Navidi, Mahya Mousavi Sadr and Elham Bahadori with Professors Rima Fayaz and Maryam Fakhari from the University of Art, Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Regional Finalists 

Africa: “Limitless Daylighting,” by Augustin Ishimwe Munyanadekwe with Dr. Josephine Malonza, from the University of Rwanda, School of Architecture & Built Environment (Rwanda)

The Americas: “Martian Light” by Gray Burke from the University of Miami with Professor Yasmine Zeghar Hammoudi (United States of America)

Asia & Oceania: “Under the Three Gorges Project” by Yawen Qiao with Professors Jun Wang and Huang Xuan from Southwest Jiaotong University (China)

Western Europe: “Solar Hymnal” by Jaan Gröndahl with Professor Janne Järvinen from the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

Key dates

2022-09-01 Registration opens
2022-04-01 Registration closes
2022-04-15 Submission period opens; deadline for questions
2022-06-15 Submission deadline; project upload
2022-07-01 Jury meeting – evaluation of all submitted projects
2022-12-01 Winners announcement at the World Architecture Festival


The total prize money was up to 30,000 euros.